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SIYE Time:19:31 on 2nd December 2023


The Snape Club
By Count Westwest

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Category: Post-OotP
Characters:Harry/Ginny
Genres: Angst, Romance
Warnings: Mild Sexual Situations, Violence/Physical Abuse
Story is Complete
Rating: R
Reviews: 4
Summary: Five teenagers are stuck in a room for six hours under the supervision of Professor Snape. Their personal dramas bubble up to the surface and they discover things about themselves they never suspected.
Hitcount: Story Total: 811
Awards: View Trophy Room


Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.



Author's Notes:
A/N: This story is obviously inspired by the movie "The Breakfast Club". Nothing is mine. I either stole it, or was inspired by the work of someone else. Please consider any similarities with other stories a tribute.





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The Snape Club


Harry opened his eyes and groaned.

"It's 6:15 AM. Saturday, November 25th, 1995," the voice of his alarm Howler repeated.

He was startled when the Howler suddenly burst into flames but noticed that Ron was sleepily diving back into his bed after putting his wand on the dresser. His friend was back to sleeping and snoring in no time at all.

Harry cursed inwardly but got up to head to the loo and showers. After finishing his morning ablutions, he put on a pair of jeans, a tee shirt and a warm jacket. He made a quick detour to get a light breakfast in the castle's kitchen before heading to the library's reading room.

The silence at Hogwarts was only disturbed by the slight echo of his trainers stepping on the flagstones. It was deceptively peaceful considering that just a few months ago his Godfather had been killed and the rest of his friends had barely escaped with their lives from what the wizarding press described as "The Battle of the Department of Mysteries."

As he stepped into the Library Reading Room, he noticed he was the first one to arrive.

There were four tables with chairs and without hesitation headed to the second table on the left. He was never the type to sit at the front of the classroom, much less for detention.

A couple of minutes later, a blond girl who seemed to have just stumbled out of bed, walked in clutching her bag against her chest. Her hair was disheveled, and Harry barely recognized her as Daphne Greengrass. She headed to the second table on the opposite side and immediately buried her head in her crossed arms.

The next one in was Colin Creevey. Harry cringed as he headed straight to his table.

"Harry, you're here too?" Colin asked excitedly with his high-pitched voice. "I thought this was going to be boring, but with you here I'm sure there's going to be excitement and adventure. Too bad I couldn't bring my camera," he concluded dejectedly.

Harry was about to point out to Colin that there was plenty of space and that he really didn't need to sit that close to him, when a sneering voice came from the threshold of the door.

"You can't even get detention without one of your fans coming along for the ride. Isn't that right, Potter?"

Malfoy looked at him briefly before checking out who else was there. Daphne Greengrass briefly raised her head, and Malfoy recognized her. Merely out of tribal instinct he sat down at the front row table on the same side as his fellow Slytherin.

The clock on the wall showed 6:59 AM and Harry figured that was going to be everybody, when Ginny Weasley walked into the Reading Room with a bouncy step, impeccable red hair flowing and a fresh face. She missed a step when their eyes met, but she quickly averted them.

Ginny took a seat at the table in front of Colin and Harry. She took a moment to compose herself and was turning to greet both Gryffindor boys, when Professor Snape came in with his black cape billowing behind him.

Snape stood between the two rows of tables and slowly looked at every single student there with undisguised contempt. Ginny was the closest to him, so she became the first victim of his wrath.

"Well, if it isn't the latest Hogwarts' princess, Ms Weasley," he said with dripping disdain. "Your popularity won't do you any good here."

Harry couldn't help but to reflect on what Snape was saying.

Ginny Weasley was indeed the undisputed princess of Hogwarts. She was the observed of all observers. Boys wanted to have her, and girls wanted to be her. Quidditch practice, which had been sleepy affairs before, now attracted crowds of boys trying to catch a glimpse of her cleavage. It was uncanny how many times he would come across groups of students talking about her in ways that made him want to hex them on the spot. Her appeal increased even further when the press leaked information that she had been one of the combatants at the Department of Mysteries.

Ginny's blossoming had happened right in front of his very eyes, but he had missed the boat. Dean Thomas was her boyfriend, and that in turn had made Dean into the most envied and admired male student in the school. Thankfully, he wasn't stupid. He didn't boast about his exploits within hearing distance of Harry or Ron.

He was awakened from these reflections by the low, contemptuous voice of Snape.

"Of course, our very own celebrity student, Mr Potter, couldn't miss the opportunity to make a nuisance of himself," he sneered. "After your recent escapade at the Department of Mysteries you would think you would have learned to keep out of trouble. Death and injury seem to always be the end result," he finished with a glance at Ginny.

Professor Snape's words had the desired effect. The remembrance of the grief caused by the death of his godfather, and of the pain of seeing Ginny injured and unable to walk without Luna's help after the battle, made him feel miserable. Snape had captured that memory during one of their latest Occlumency lessons. Harry sank into his chair.

"HOW DARE YOU!" Ginny screamed, glowering at Snape.

"That will be 10 points from Gryffindor and another weekend detention for you, Ms Weasley," the professor snapped back.

Ginny bit her lower lip so hard that teeth marks were visible when she stopped.

Draco Malfoy's laugh filled the room. "At least you still have the Weaselette to defend you, Potter," he said. "I still remember how she came to your defense at Flourish and Blotts on our second year."

Ginny didn't care if she had to spend the rest of the year in detention. She was about to make a nasty comment to Malfoy when Harry interrupted her.

"You better shut your mouth before I bash your teeth in."

Harry had spoken with such a cold and dangerous edge, that the Slytherin leaned back away from him.

"That will be 10 points from Gryffindor and another weekend detention for you, Mr Potter," Snape said with a self-satisfied smile.

"Great," the raven-haired boy replied with dripping sarcasm.

"10 more points and another weekend detention. Would you like more, Mr Potter?"

Before he could answer Ginny whipped around and looked daggers into his eyes.

"Stop it!" she ordered peremptorily.

At that moment Harry realized he couldn't disobey her, even if every bone in his body was rebelling against it.

Daphne Greengrass laughed with amusement, and everyone in the room turned to look at her. "Both of you are so clueless," she said addressing Harry and Ginny.

"I didn't give you permission to speak, Ms Greengrass," Snape barked at her. "One more weekend detention."

"You didn't give Malfoy permission to speak either," Colin chimed in.

"Ten points from Gryffindor and a weekend detention for you, Mr. Creevey. Anybody else?' After a pause that seemed to drag on, Snape continued. "Wands on the table," he commanded. After the five students complied, he spoke again. "Wands are confiscated until the end of detention. Accio!"

Professor Snape slowly walked between the tables before he resumed his speech.

"Each of you will compose a thousand-word essay on the properties and uses of Belladonna in potion making. That should be easy even for a group of dimwits like this one."

"A thousand words?" Malfoy protested.

"Yes, Mr Malfoy, and the essays better not be copies of each other."

"Can we use the library to find information on Belladonna?" Daphne asked.

"Yes, you can," Snape replied.

"I didn't bring any writing materials," Colin said before any of the others could report the same problem.

With a swoosh of his wand and an under-breath incantation, Snape made paper, quills and ink appear in front of each of the students.

"You're mine for the next six hours. I expect you to be quiet and not cause any problems. I'll be in the Librarian's office. If any of you give me any trouble, you will regret it. You may start."

With those words Professor Snape whipped around and left with his cape billowing behind him.

0-0-0-0-

The first hour seemed like the longest in Harry's short life. Daphne seemed to be sleeping. Colin had written the title of his essay and stopped there. Peeking to the table in front, he saw that Ginny had made considerable progress, but now she was just absentmindedly playing with a tendril of hair around her ear. Draco wasn't even pretending to do anything and was leaning back on the chair with his eyes closed. For his part, Harry had managed one full paragraph before running out of inspiration.

Looking at the faces around him, he realized that there was someone who didn't seem to belong there. Daphne was known as the Luna Lovegood of Slytherin, and she rubbed her housemates and teachers the wrong way. Getting detention for her didn't seem like a stretch.

Draco had the full protection of Snape, and usually committed his greatest transgressions when he was around to protect him, but on more than one occasion he had run afoul of Professor McGonagall or Professor Flitwick.

Ginny, he thought with a smile, was the one that made the most sense for detention. He wouldn't be surprised if she was there for pranking Professor Dumbledore.

Colin Creevey on the other hand, didn't make any sense at all. He was the ultimate teacher's pet. He would volunteer for any teacher project with enthusiasm and was known to be an exemplary student.

"Why are you here, Colin?" Harry asked intrigued.

Ginny seemed to awaken from her stupor and her head shot up. "That's right," she said with a quizzical look. "Why are you here, Colin? You're the sweetest kid in the whole school."

"I'm not a kid," Colin protested with a growing blush. "You and I are the same age, Ginny."

"Yes, but... what did you do?" Ginny insisted.

"I... I'm not telling you," he replied nervously.

Everyone was a little startled when Daphne spoke. "Come on. Tell us what you did before I die of boredom."

Even Draco was fully awake now, and four pairs of eyes were fixed on Colin.

His Adam's apple bobbed up and down. "I... I was caught trying to sneak into the Hufflepuff girls' shower room," he finally confessed.

Everyone was momentarily thunderstruck, but no one more than Ginny, whose mouth was hanging open with an expression of disbelief.

Harry on the other hand, was nodding approvingly with a smile. "Respect, Colin. Respect."

Harry was patting Colin on the back when a ball of paper hit him hard on the middle of the face. By the speed and force of the projectile, that could only have come from one of Ginny's powerful Chaser arms.

"Aowww, stop that, Gin..." Before he was even able to finish, another ball of paper hit him square in the face.

"You're the kid with the camera, aren't you?" Draco asked, suddenly interested.

Colin nodded, eyeing his redhead classmate wearily.

"Did you take any photos?" Draco asked eagerly while moving to Ginny's table and leaning toward the younger Gryffindor boy.

Colin raised both hands with his palms up and shrugged. "I got caught."

Harry and Draco seemed to be rapidly losing interest. "I got naked photos of Romilda Vane, though," Colin added.

All four students were leaning toward Colin now. His Adam's apple bobbed up and down again.

"Spill it," Ginny said menacingly.

"She asked me to take them. I swear, Ginny."

"Why?" Daphne asked. Three heads turned to look at the blond Slytherin girl and whipped back to wait for Colin's answer.

He turned to look Harry in the eye. "She wants to give them to you as a Christmas gift. They turned out really well."

Harry's jaw dropped and he blinked repeatedly.

"That slag!" Ginny hissed indignantly.

"Look who's talking," Daphne sneered.

At that point, Harry realized the wisdom of confiscating their wands. If Ginny had had her wand at that moment, Bat-Bogeys would be flying, or worse. Ginny was red with fury and her fists were balled. He was getting ready to stop her from attacking the blonde girl, when he noticed the smiling, lecherous face of Malfoy.

Who was going to stop him from pummeling Draco?

"Do you mind explaining more fully?" Ginny demanded with a dangerous edge.

"Half of the boys, and quarter of the girls in the school claim to have shagged you," Daphne explained. "Even if only fraction of them is telling the truth, that still qualifies you as a slag."

"I can't help what delusional gits say around the school..."

"Does everyone here know why Ginny has detention today?" Daphne interrupted with a malicious smile.

Two of the boys nodded affirmatively. Harry on the other hand, shook his head negatively.

Daphne laughed. "Why am I not surprised that clueless-boy here, is the only one in school that doesn't know. Should I tell him?" she asked Ginny.

Harry saw the despair in her pleading eyes, and she almost imperceptibly shook her head negatively. He had to know, now. Nothing was more important than him knowing why Ginny Weasley had detention.

"Tell me," he demanded of Daphne.

"I got caught in a broom closet with Dean," Ginny cut in looking straight at Harry. Her eyes were pleading, but she couldn't sustain his gaze. It was as if beams of fire were coming from his green eyes. "It wasn't what you're thinking. It wasn't what everyone of you is thinking."

The Lion in Harry's chest was roaring, and it was planning unspeakable violence on bloody Dean Thomas.

Draco scoffed. "Next you're going to tell us that you're still a virgin."

"Are you a virgin?" Daphne asked with a raised eyebrow.

"That's none of your bloody business," she replied, defiantly looking at all in the room.

"Come on, Weasley," Draco drawled, "You'll have to give me that pussy. I can't remain the only one in school who hasn't shagged you."

In a flash, Harry flew over the table and tumbled to the ground holding Draco by the scruff of his shirt collar. His fist was raised when Ginny firmly grabbed his wrist. "Don't Harry. Don't get in trouble for me."

"Snape is coming, Snape is coming," Colin called out urgently.

Professor Snape burst into the room with his wand in hand. The five students were sitting at their tables, innocently writing on their pieces of paper.

"What was that ruckus?" he demanded angrily.

"Oh! That was Peeves and The Bloody Baron having an argument," Ginny replied without missing a beat. "They went that way," she added pointing to the North Entrance.

"Malfoy?"

The three Gryffindor students felt they were doomed, but something unbelievable happened.

"What she said," Malfoy said with his usual air of superiority.

Snape looked unconvinced, but after a few seconds he left the room.

"If you think this changes anything, you're sadly mistaken, Malfoy," Harry spat rising to his feet. "You'll have to eat those words."

"Sit down! The two of you need to calm down," Ginny demanded.

Harry sat down and Daphne laughed at him. He was looking daggers at her.

"How come Dean didn't get detention?" the Slytherin girl asked.

"McGonogall mistakenly thought keeping us apart was a better punishment, so she gave him cleaning duty instead. How about you answering some bloody questions now," Ginny said annoyed. "Are you going to tell us why you got detention and if you're a virgin?"

'I'll tell you," she replied seemingly unconcerned. "I got detention because I got caught shagging Professor Slughorn."

"Ewww. That's a bloody lie," Harry said with disgust.

"Tell us the truth, Daphne," Ginny demanded.

"Not until Draco and Harry speak."

"That's an excellent idea," Ginny concurred with a mischievous smile. "Why are you here, and are you a virgin, Draco?"

I'm here for the usual reason. I beat up a First-Year student and got caught by Professor Flitwick. As to the second question, I'm not a virgin. Everyone bloody knows that Pansy Parkinson is my sex-toy and that I've shagged most of the Slytherin girls in my year... present company excepted," he added with disdain.

"Harry?" Ginny asked almost with trepidation.

"I'm here for the usual reason as well. I didn't look at Snape with the respect he feels entitled to during Potion's class. As to the second question, that's nobody's business."

"What about Cho?" Ginny pressed. "Last year the two of you stayed behind, alone, at the Room of Requirement."

Harry was surprised that she had noticed. "That was a disaster..."

Daphne laughed. "Ha, ha, ha. Virgin!"

Draco joined in mocking him. "The great Harry Potter's wick is still dry. Who would have thought it?"

"That's right," Daphne added. "Half the school thinks you and Hermione are shagging like rabbits in heat."

Harry was blushing with embarrassment, and Ginny did the only thing she could do to give him comfort.

"If anyone must know," she said looking down at her feet, "I'm still a virgin too."

The Lion in Harry's chest roared again. He enjoyed seeing the incredulous looks on the two Slytherins.

"Is anyone going to ask me if I'm a virgin?" Colin inquired.

"You're a virgin," the other four said simultaneously.

His pride was offended. "How are you so sure?"

"Colin," Ginny said with a comforting smile, "only a virgin would try to sneak into the girls' bathroom."

Colin laughed with the others. "You're right."

"It's your turn now, Daphne."

"Just one more question, Ginny. You don't have to answer if you don't want to."

"Go ahead."

"What were you and Dean doing in the broom closet. Just snogging?"

Ginny swallowed hard and looked down at her feet again. "I was breaking-up with him." She chanced a quick look at Harry, and she saw his eyes beaming and the corners of his mouth tug up. The Lion in her chest roared.

Daphne gave Ginny a sincere smile, but then it seemed as if a Dementor had descended upon her shoulders.

"I'm here because I got caught stealing supplies from the Herbology cupboard. As to the second question, no boy or girl has ever shown any interest in me. Most find me too weird or too direct. My bloody mouth always turns them off." She paused, eyes brimming with tears. "Even my parents hate me," Daphne concluded with a deep sob. She lowered her head to the table and wrapped her arms around it. Her shoulders shook.

Ginny walked briskly to sit next to Daphne and put her arms around her back.

At that moment Professor Snape walked back into the room.

"Who wants to use the loo?"


0-0-0-0-


Snape only allowed them to go to the loo, one by one. Even though Ginny had pleaded with him to let her go with Daphne, he didn't relent.

When Ginny's turn came, she gave Harry a look, and with a dip of her head looked at the Slytherin girl. Harry got up and Ginny gave him a thankful look when their paths crossed. Whatever she had said to Daphne, it had allowed her to mostly regain her composure.

"Feeling better?" Harry asked with genuine concern.

Daphne looked at him surprised. "It almost sounds as if you mean it."

Harry spoke in a low, sad voice. "You already know my parents were killed by Voldemort. What no one knows is that I live with relatives who hate me. They made me sleep in a cupboard under the stairs until I turned twelve-years-old. Most of the time they starved me, and all my clothes were hand-me downs from my cousin. I know what it's like to be unloved and unwanted. To top it all off, I have a death sentence from Voldemort hanging over me."

"That's awful," she said horrified. "My problems seem trivial compared to yours."

"You said your parents hate you. Would you like to talk about it?" Harry inquired softly.

Daphne looked into Harry's eyes, and she knew she could tell him.

"You know about the Sacred Twenty-Eight, right?"

"Yes. They are the last truly pure-blooded families in Britain. Ron and Ginny have told me about it. Their family is part of the list, as is yours."

"Correct, but their family doesn't believe in pure-blood supremacy, which is why they are considered blood-traitors," Daphne clarified. "The most aristocratic families, like the Malfoy's, the Black's, the Flint's and the Greengrass' tend to marry within their own circle to prevent their blood purity and money from diluting."

"Why are you telling me this?" Harry asked puzzled.

"Because my mother and father signed a marriage contract with an Unbreakable Vow. I must marry Marcus Flint when I finish school next year or my father will die. They didn't even bother to ask my opinion," she concluded dejectedly.

"I remember Marcus," Harry said recalling their confrontations on the Quidditch pitch. 'He was a nasty piece of work."

"You have no idea, Harry," she said with despair. "This Summer our families set us up on a date and I was forced to go. Marcus tried to touch me and kiss me, but I wouldn't let him, so he beat me. I had to be taken to St Mungo's to fix a broken nose and two broken ribs."

Harry's blood was boiling.

"The part that hurt the most was when my mother and father told me that I deserved it."

"Did you tell Ginny about this?" Harry asked fuming.

"Yes."

"What she said?"

"She asked if she had my permission to discuss it with Hermione. She assured me she's the best lawyer in Britain."

Harry chuckled. "She's right. If there's any way out of this, Hermione will find it."

"Please don't say anything to anyone about this. Today I was weak, but I don't want anyone's pity," Daphne pleaded.

"I promise. I know that feeling," he said solemnly. "Why were you stealing Herbology supplies?" Harry asked intrigued. "You have money. Herbs, plants and roots are cheap and easy to get."

"Not the ones I wanted. They are controlled by the Ministry." She paused and gave Harry an appraising look. Not even Ginny knew about this.

"I was getting supplies to make poison... in case I have to kill myself."

Harry looked at her shocked but nodded. "Yes. I've been there too," he said with a flat voice.

Daphne started to cry again, but this time it wasn't tears of despair. They were tears of gratitude and relief. Harry embraced her and she cried on his shoulder.

"If you ever need a friend, you can count on me or Ginny," Harry said sincerely as he stroked her back. "The Weasley's literally saved my life. They were the first friends I ever had. It was time I paid it forward."

A minute later, Daphne pulled back and dried the tear streaks on her cheeks with the back of her hand. She then gave Harry a long chaste kiss on the cheek.

"Look at what I did, Ginny," she said chuckling, "he has my snot all over his face."

Harry was surprised to see Ginny standing there with a radiant smile. Her suddenly darker brown eyes were beaming at him.

"How long have you been there?" he asked.

"Long enough, Harry. Long enough."

She pulled a tissue from her bag and gently took hold of his chin with the fingertips of her left hand. She slowly turned his head without breaking eye contact, her smile was glowing more than ever. As she cleaned his cheek, all the air came out of his lungs, and he forgot to breathe. Her face was just inches from him. He had never seen anything more beautiful in his life.

When Ginny finished, he finally took a deep breath, inhaling the unique clean, flowery smell that he had always associated with her.

"You should go back and work on your essay, Harry."

"You need to stop hanging around Hermione. You're getting just a bad as her."

Her laugh was music to his ears. "We girls still need to talk."

Harry got up and Ginny took his place. He took a step to leave but stopped and turned around.

"You know what, Ginny," he said looking at both girls. "Sitting next to Daphne, I noticed that she's quite pretty. She's just a little rough around the edges..."

"I know," Ginny said brightly. "That's what I told her. We're going to work on that."

As he walked back to his seat Harry noticed that Colin and Draco had been paying attention.

"I don't understand you, Potter," Draco said with a sincerity that seemed alien to him. "You're either a poof, or you're a fool. Those two are ready to drop their knickers for you."

Harry was still on a high, so he just laughed. The three boys started working on their essays again.


0-0-0-0-


"The sexual tension between you and Harry is killing me."

Ginny froze and stopped combing Daphne's hair. "What tension? You must be imagining things."

The Slytherin girl looked at her with a hint of frustration.

"You know he's completely nutters for you. Right?" Ginny just gulped like a fish out of water. "Will you at least admit that you're in love with him?"

After a pause Ginny regained the power of speech. "Yes, I am. Have been for a long time." It felt liberating to say it.

"Who can blame you? He's dreamy. I'm just surprised you haven't made that unambiguously clear to him. The reason why every girl in this school admires you is because you seem so confident. Blokes act like puppies when you're around."

"You're exaggerating..."

"Really? In case you haven't noticed, Colin is afraid of your disapproval. And don't let me get started with Harry. You say stop, and he stops. You say sit down, and he sits down. You just move your head, and he sits next to me. It's uncanny."

"I hadn't noticed."

"As I said before," Daphne said with a short laugh. "Both of you are so clueless, it's adorable."

"It's not that easy, Daphne. He knows me since I'm eleven-years-old..."

"What's that got to do with anything?" she asked.

"You don't understand. Harry and I have a history. We can never be more than friends."

"That sounds like you're in denial. Snape sort of hinted that you had been injured at the Department of Mysteries. Harry didn't seem to take it well."

Ginny laughed without mirth. "That was nothing," she said emphasizing the last word. "I had a badly sprained ankle and some cuts and bruises. They fixed me up in a couple of hours. It was the death of his godfather that really affected Harry. He had placed so many hopes in Sirius," she trailed off.

"I'm sure he did. But it takes a Slytherin to know one. When Snape wanted to extract the last ounce of pain; when he wanted to put the last pinch of salt on the wound, he looked at you."

"There's more. Things that only very few people know. Things that make it impossible for me to make it... how did you put it... to make it unambiguously clear to Harry that I love him."

Daphne was dying with curiosity, but she didn't want to push. Ginny and Harry had already done so much for her today and she didn't want to be ungrateful. She resigned herself to leaving the matter rest.

Ginny, though, was considering if she should tell her. If she should reveal to her things that she hadn't told her mother, Hermione or even Luna. They barely knew each other, but Daphne had already disclosed the ugliest secrets of her life to her. Maybe that had made her own emotions bubble up to the surface and made them feel so raw.

She had to tell someone. Here and now, or she would explode. She had been carrying this hopeless longing, this guilt, for so long.

"Do you remember what happened five years ago?"

Daphne was startled when the redhead suddenly spoke. She took a few seconds to recollect before she responded.

"Yes. Several students were petrified. There were all kinds of wild rumors at the time, but I know that Harry and you were somehow involved. Although, I don't know exactly how."

"The rumor that I was responsible for everything... That's true."

Daphne noticed with alarm the powerful internal struggle in Ginny's face. "You don't have to tell me more," she almost pleaded, "but if it will help you, I'll listen. I promise I won't tell anybody."

It was too late to stop. Ginny felt the need to let everything off her chest.

"Harry saved my life that year," she said, growing more and more agitated. "He had to kill a bloody basilisk to save me. With a bloody sword. He almost died because of me. I saw the light in his eyes going out and I couldn't do anything. He was dying, but he saved me anyway. Do you know what that means? Do you?"

A lump formed in Ginny's throat and identical tears rolled down her eyes. Daphne couldn't believe what she was hearing. She was speechless and could only hesitantly shake her head.

"It means I can never ask anything more from Harry. Ever. Because he already gave me everything. I have no right. No right to ask him. No right to expect anything from him..." she let out a deep sob. "I owe him. So, I'll take whatever he can give me. Even if it's not enough!"

Ginny's voice had been steadily rising. Daphne saw Harry stand up and look at them alarmed. She pulled Ginny into an embrace and let her cry against her shoulder. At the same she raised her arm and motioned Harry to stop.

But he didn't stop.

Harry rushed to Ginny's side, pulled her up and off Daphne's arms and embraced her.

"What's wrong, Ginny?"

She didn't say anything. She just silently cried against his chest as he stroked her back. Hesitantly Ginny raised her arms and hugged him. She sobbed, but gradually regained her composure. Harry pulled back to look down at her. There were several long strands of hair stuck to her wet face. His hand slowly pulled them off her cheeks, but after he finished, he let his fingertips linger.

"What's wrong Ginny?" he repeated huskily.

'I'm just... I'm just a little emotional today," she almost whispered. "I'm sorry."

"Don't be."

Harry curled his index finger and started drying the tear tracks on her face. Her pupils seem to get larger with every passing moment. He looked down at her lips and then back up to her eyes. There was an expression of surprise on her face and her lips parted slightly. He couldn't take his eyes off those parted lips. They were beckoning him. He leaned forward and Ginny's heels came off the ground.

The sound of a chair scraping the floor stopped Harry on his tracks. Four pairs of eyes drilled into Draco Malfoy who was standing frozen with an apologetic expression. Harry could have sworn he mouthed the word "sorry".

"What's going on here?" Snape growled as he came into the room. Potter and Weasley, get back to your seats!"

Castle elves apparated and placed snacks and refreshments on the tables.

"You have twenty minutes to eat. Then get back to work." Snape barked.

The Professor stared first at Harry and then at Ginny. After a few seconds, he left the room with a harumph.


0-0-0-0-


"Would you like to sit here, Ginny? Colin asked shyly.

Ginny cautiously turned around and looked at Harry, just to make sure she hadn't dreamed the whole thing. He nodded with a dazzling smile at her.

"Respect, Colin. Respect," Daphne called out from her seat.

Ginny sat next to Harry but left some space between them. Harry moved his chair until their legs and arms touched. Ginny let out an odd giggle and blushed from embarrassment. Her head dropped to his shoulder and his head dropped to the top of hers. They stayed like that for a moment, incandescently happy. It was the kind of happiness that needs to be shared.

"Come join us. Let's eat together," Ginny called out brightly.

Colin turned his seat around and Daphne sat next to him.

"You too Draco, come over. Have some snacks with us," Ginny called out.

Since Harry had spotted Draco at "Borgin and Burkes" before the start of the school year, he had been keeping close tabs on him. His suspicion that he was now a full- fledged Death Eater had become almost a certainty. He had noticed how he had become more withdrawn and seemed to be in a constant state of tenseness and anxiety. But at this moment, he was so happy that Voldemort and the coming war seemed a million miles away.

"Yes, Draco. You can come over if you want," Harry said.

Daphne grabbed a chair and put it next to her. "Don't leave alone with all these bloody Gryffindors," she said tapping the seat of the chair with her hand.

The Slytherin boy seemed to be deep in thought. He looked at them, unsure. The turmoil he had been living in the last few months was slowly destroying him. If he was honest with himself, he had to admit he was in way over his head. His "mission" was going to be the end of him. Today had been the first time in months that he had felt normal. Just like any other teenage student fighting his hormones and navigating the minefield of relationships. And it felt good. Draco knew that Harry knew, he was marked to death. And yet, he seemed so happy by the simple touch of the beautiful blood-traitor sitting next to him. He wondered if he could ever again experience that kind of happiness. Draco closed his eyes and longed for a couple more hours of normalcy. He wished he could go back to the days when hating Potter and his friends was just a game, and not life or death. He got up and sat next to Daphne.

As Draco sat down, he did a double take. Just combing her hair and straightening her clothes made a big difference. He could tell there was still great beauty potential in her.

"Potter is right, Greengrass," he said. "You're actually not hideous."

They all laughed, even Daphne. They were laughing with him because he had said something funny, and it felt good.

"Thank you... I think," she said.

They were able to find common ground. They talked in a relaxed manner about Quidditch, the latest Firebolt broom and their passion for flying. The conversation then turned to Colin and his skills in the art of dessous model photography. Which in turn was a perfect segway for Ginny to do her imitation of Won-Won and Lavender Brown. She had them in stitches. Daphne, for her part, made a perfect imitation of Ginny's odd giggle when Harry had moved his chair right next to her.

"I'll have to Obliviate all of you," Ginny said blushing and bending over in laughter as the others joined.

The twenty minutes were quickly coming to an end and Draco became deadly serious.

"Potter," he said pointing between Ginny and Harry. "You know you need to keep this secret as long as possible, right?"

Reality hit Harry in the face like a pail of cold water. "Yes," he said grimly. "Will you keep it secret, Malfoy?"

"I won't have to for long. One or both of you will mess up, and then the whole world will know, but I promise I'll keep it secret until then."

As Draco made the motion to go back to his chair, Harry offered his hand. Malfoy hesitated a moment before he shook it. Then Ginny also offered her hand. He readily accepted it.

"Thank you," she said.

Draco got to his seat and the ugly reality set in. Potter had to die at the hands of Lord Voldemort, and in the process the Weasley girl would probably meet the same end. Hearing them laugh at the other table, he realized he didn't want any part of that. The tension and anguish that had been consuming him returned with full force.

He was startled out of his dark thoughts when Daphne sat next to him.

"You'll need to have more done before I consider shagging you, Greengrass. What do you want?"

"Back in character, I see," Daphne chuckled. "That was quick."

"I have a lot in my mind, I'm..." it was so hard for him to say that word. "I'm sorry."

"I just wanted to tell you, that I know how you're feeling, Malfoy."

"I don't think you do," he interrupted ill-humored. "You have no clue."

"Your family and mine aren't that different. You're tired of hating, aren't you?"

Draco couldn't deny it. All this hate had become so tiresome.

Daphne turned to look at the Gryffindors sitting at the table on the other side. They were all working together to finish their essays. Harry and Ginny were holding hands under the table.

"Look at them," she urged him. "The mud-blood, the half-blood and blood-traitor. We have been taught to hate from the moment we were born, but once you get to know them, it's not that easy. You may even find yourself liking some of them."

Draco peeked at the other side and lowered his head.

"I have responsibilities, Greengrass." The turmoil within him was evident. "What do you want from me?"

"I want you to keep your word."

He turned to look her in the eye. "I will," he said and lowered his head again.

Daphne put her hand on his back, and it moved up and down wildly with the rhythm of his heavy breathing. "I believe you."

After a minute, his breathing calmed down and she took her hand off his back. Draco turned to look at her.

"Why do you always walk around looking like a scarecrow? You're actually pretty."

Daphne's cheeks colored a bit. "Well, thank you," she chuckled. "If you keep that up, you may get to pop this cherry."

Draco laughed.

"When your parents are trying to sell you in marriage to the highest bidder, you may not want to attract attention, but that plan has already failed."

"What do you mean?" Draco asked.

"My marriage contract has been signed. Starting tomorrow I'll be more presentable. I may only have a year and a half, but I want that," she said looking at Ginny and Harry. "I want real love, even if it is for a short time. I'm done with the hate."


0-0-0-0-


Twenty minutes before the end of detention, Snape marched into the room with his usual scowl.

"Who's finished?"

All five students raised their hands. Snape grabbed the papers, and for the next fifteen minutes wandered back and forth between the tables reading them. From time to time he would hiss, harumph and say insults under breath.

"These are truly pathetic," he said five minutes before the end of detention. "Luckily for you, this is not an actual class." He gave each of them their wands back. "I have to leave, but don't dare to leave a minute earlier than you should."

With that, he spun around and left.

"I guess we'll see each other next week," Ginny said. "Except you, Malfoy."

"Who knows," the Slytherin replied. "There's plenty of First-Years to beat up."

They all laughed as the clock struck the hour.

Colin and Draco said goodbye and quickly ran out of there. Harry and Ginny were slowly making their way out, when Daphne came running past them. She stood blocking the door.

"I think you have some unfinished business," she said grinning. "I give you fifteen more minutes of detention... or more if you want," she said with a smile as she closed the door.

Harry and Ginny were left alone in the completely silent room. They turned to face each other, and they embraced.

"I can't believe this is finally happening," Ginny said against his chest. "I've wanted this for so long, Harry," she added looking up at him.

I'm sorry, Ginny. I've been a fool," she said caressing her cheek.

"Make it up to me," she said rising on her toes.

Harry bent down and their lips gently came together. First, they just explored the surface, until Harry felt her lips part. The tips of their tongues came together, and they continued to explore, but their kisses remained shallow. They enjoyed the warmth and sweetness of their mouths a little longer, but the heat of the kiss kept rising. Ginny moaned into his mouth and the kiss became deeper, exploring their mouth as their tongues gently struggled for supremacy. Harry became aware of the glorious feeling of her full, round breasts against his chest; and Ginny became aware of how hard parts of his body could be.

They finally came apart, gasping for air with faces flushed. They both self-consciously took a short step back to avoid the intimate contact.

"That was better than flying," Ginny said with blurry eyes and a dreamy voice.

"Yes," Harry agreed huskily. "Do you want to fly again?"

The distance between disappeared in a flash and this time Harry also explored her creamy neck, eliciting wondrous sounds that made Harry's blood boil. He could feel the almost invisible hairs of her arms standing on end. The kiss was deep, slow and sweet and their whole bodies burned with desire.

They came apart and Ginny knew she had to put a stop to it, before there was no stopping it. She smiled radiantly at Harry. "I would call that a good start, wouldn't you?"

"Absolutely."

She took his hand and started walking towards the door, but Harry stopped and looked down at their hands.

"We have to keep this secret, Ginny. I couldn't bear to put you in more danger than I already have."

As much as she wanted to protest, she held back. They would have time to talk about it later. She let go of his hand as Neville burst into the room.

"There you are," Neville said in a friendly tone. He stopped and looked at them suspiciously for a moment but continued. "Professor Dumbledore wants you to come to his office immediately."

Harry rolled his eyes and closed them. "Sometimes I hate that bloody man," he said frustrated. He gave Ginny a sad look. "I'll see both of you later," he said as he headed up the stairs.

It was back to Voldemort and his bloody memories. Harry heard the doors of the Snape Club close behind him.



THE END

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